Club History

Fairfax Lions Club was chartered on February 21, 1951, sponsored by the Vienna Host Lions Club.  The late James C. Hill, Past International Director, served as the organizer and Rothwell J. Lillard was the Charter President.  There were 29 original members of the club.

Fairfax Lions Club became a “Host” Club in 1966 when it sponsored the establishment of Fairfax Mid-Day Lions Club.  We also sponsored the Clifton Lions Club in 1969, the Fairfax A.M. Lions Club in 1975, and the West Fairfax Lions Club in 1983.  Of those, only the Clifton Lions Club remains currently active.

Initially, our Club held its meetings at Speer’s Restaurant.  In 1955-57, we met at the Fairfax Country Club, and later the Old Coach Inn – where The Shops of Fairfax are located (across from the old Fairfax High School – later Pope Paul VI High School).  In 1967 we met at the Mosby Inn in the Mosby Building on Main Street, then moved to the Black Baron that is now P.J. Skidoos.  In 1970 we moved to Bob’s Beef House.  In 1984 when Bob sold his establishment, we met at different places then settled in Mama’s Italian Restaurant when it opened in the renovated building that was formerly Bob’s Beef House.  In 2006, after the sale of Mama’s, we moved to our current meeting location at the American Legion Post 177.

Two members of Fairfax Host Lions Club have been elected “Governor” of Lions District 24L (which encompasses the northern third of  Virginia): Lion Bill Smith in 1978, and Lion Bill Bartlett in 1997.  Over the years many of our members held leadership positions in our Club, and also in District 24L.  In conjunction with the Fairfax County Health Department, our Club founded the Lions Club Eye Clinic in 1966 at the Joseph Willard Health Center.  This is currently the INOVA Lions Eye Clinic – a part of INOVA Fairfax Hospital.